Here’s owner Marc Bortz’s justification to Dish about why he’s opening Dos Diablos (15 W. Hubbard St.), “a concept-driven place, the kind of place you go to have fun with your friends” — i.e. a Tex Mex taco-and-margarita joint — in the River North space previously occupied by Cabaret: “Everyone is doing burgers, beers, and fries. Everybody is zigging so we decided to zag.” Really, dude?
Last we checked, River North’s highest-profile recent openings are Mercadito (tacos and margaritas!) and Xoco (Mex without the Tex!). Then there’s the recent explosion of love for the West Loop Pilsen’s Bridgeport’s Carbon, now back on our radar, and the seeming infinity of established taquerias downtown (by MenuPages’ count, there are forty-four). Add in Big Star, quite possibly the most hyped taqueria in the history of the universe, just a short El ride away, and there’s a case to be made that, no, actually, everone is zagging.
Meanwhile on the zig front, the burger joints everyone is flipping out over are opening farther north: DMK Burger Bar and, even farther, Edzo’s. We’d argue that in fact it’s exactly River North that could stand to support another solid burgers-beers-and-fries option (someone needs to pick up the Hop Haus overspill). In any case, Bortz is aiming for a February open — maybe taco mania will have died down by then, and we’ll be able to muster up some excitement.
Every Which Way Italian [Dish, second item]